F1 offers no guarantees to historic races
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 19th April, 2023 - 2:25pm
Organisers of historic F1 races are not guaranteed a position on the sport’s calendar, warns the sport’s CEO, Stefano Domenicali.
This year’s schedule takes in 23 races, down from 24 following the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix.
Among that number is the all-new Las Vegas Grand Prix, while Qatar also joins the championship with a 10-year contract following a one-off appearance in 2021.
Adding new events has placed more established races at risk, with Belgium only given a one-year deal last year.
Formula 1 is currently enjoying a boon in growth globally, with interest from several potential new promoters.
That includes markets the sport is currently outside, such as Africa.
However, with such competition for spaces on the calendar, and a finite number available, Domenicali has warned that history is no longer good enough to ensure an event in the future.
“I would say in terms of numbers, 24 is the right number,” he said.
“The mix in the continents that we have today is looking good.
“In terms of possibility in the future, there’s no secret on that – we are still seeing if there is a chance to go to Africa because it’s the only continent that is missing.
“But on the other hand, I would say the only comment that I’m always saying to our promoters when historic is only looking behind, there is something that is not good.
“When historic is a good foundation to look ahead with a different future, that is beautiful.
“So that’s why, with the so-called historical Grand Prix, we are really focusing on understanding what the view of the future is.
“To be arrogant and believe that you have a guaranteed future because you had the race for 100 years, to be very honest, it’s not enough.
“There’s a side of respect is not enough for the tradition of these places and I think that at this moment, everyone understands that.
“We are not playing any games. We’re very transparent with them.
“We have seen that if they want to be on the calendar they need to do the things that we believe are right for them and also for us as Formula 1.
“I would say that the number and the quality of races are respecting also the so-called historical one, but it’s pretty clear that in the last couple of years, the perception from these historical places has changed because they realise that the landscape is different.”
On the current calendar, only the British and Italian Grands Prix have been part of the world championship since its inception in 1950, neither at the same venue throughout.
Monaco and Belgium also rank highly in events held, as do Germany and France. The latter two are currently absent.
Of the events F1 currently attends, the Australian Grand Prix is the 11th oldest and has appeared on the world championship calendar 37 times.
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